“turns up the heat” by Julia in Nicole’s bed

Thursday December 21, 2017
12:09am
5 minutes
a flyer from The Cultch

Her room, she says, is too cold to sleep in. Except when he’s here and he’s furnace and he’s dripping sweat in her sheets. I ask if I can turn the oven on tomorrow. She says it might blow up the whole place and better to put on a better sweater. I have a better sweater now. It was the only thing I told myself I’d bring and then I packed too many what ifs and accidentally forgot to leave some things behind. I forgot that I told myself I wouldn’t smoke so much.
She says we’ll have to make sure to look out the window. When I ask if there’s a meteor shower she doesn’t laugh. She says 10 somethings of snow will be falling tonight. I don’t remember the measure of snow she used. It wasn’t what you would have expected. He’s not coming by to warm the bed. She says I won’t be meeting him until tomorrow.

“making a retreat into self-protective cynicism” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Tuesday September 26, 2017
10:28pm
5 minutes
Fighting the Cowardice of Cynicism
Caitlin Moran

My cynic wears tortershell glasses
And has brown eyes

Her wardrobe is browns and greys
White black

She has an astoundingly dry
Sense of humor

She drinks dry martinis

She speaks Italian
French
Spanish
And a little bit of Japanese
Enough to get by
Enough to order the best sushi

When she speaks
People listen
People hear
Especially men
Men listen
No one
No one
Mansplains to her

She never has to repeat
Herself
She never has to interrupt

“He presses a button” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday August 29, 2017
9:27pm
5 minutes
from VO sides

i watch him from the corner of my eye
he is sly
a man on a mission to push all of my buttons
coming for me like a dart
flying through the air, straight for wherever he aims
did i mention he has great aim?
taught to throw a baseball at the age of three
and now the target is me
i can’t avoid it, it’s the end,
i’m nothing but a machine
when he wants laughter he strikes the soft above my knee
says something unexpected in that charming sort of way
if he wants to knock me over
he hits below
buckle and shake until i make peace with the ground
i am onto him
looking for any kind of reaction
reaching out and teasing with a smirk
hovering right above my button
i am defenseless
yet feeling tension
will he won’t he
no sir yes sir

“I don’t ever think about death” by Sasha at the Airbnb in Kelowna


Monday March 13, 2017
11:32pm
5 minutes
Glory And Gore
Lorde

He breathes fire
He drives a yellow Honda
Civic and always
goes at least thirty
kilometers over
the speed limit

I’m not sure if
he thinks that
he’s beyond the
parameters of life
and death or if
he’s just jacked
up on energy drinks
and the fact that
his muscles are growing

He isn’t interested
in women or girls
He goes to work at
the lumber yard and
then he drives to
the gym

That’s it really

Sometimes he’ll go
to a party at Steve’s
place and when he’s
there everyone will
say

“Why don’t you ever
hang out, man?”

“a supermoon in Taurus.” By Sasha in the bath


Sunday November 20, 2016
10:04pm
5 minutes
From chaninicholas.com

Thirteen in Peurto Vallarta walking
ahead my mother and sister keeping close

Men in Tommy Hilfiger T-shirts hiss and growl
first taste of the power and the burden

Fish tacos on the beach salty hair
Sunburn like a bad weather forecast

At the hotel a man who works there
teaches me how to say “How are you?” in Spanish

He blushes and looks at his Nike’s when I ask it
I take my hair out of a ponytail

“I do not lie to you.” by Julia on her bed


Tuesday April 12, 2016
9:51pm
5 minutes
from a text

When you ask me for the truth I gladly give it. Not to everyone, but to you, I don’t how not to. I remember sitting with you in a dusty bar a year and a half after first meeting you and feeling like that was the first time I actually got to know you. You said some profound shit and you were as lucid as I’d seen you. I preferred you like that. I wonder if you noticed me opening to you too. If you noticed me sharing more secrets or more weaknesses or more dreams laced in marijuana and vulnerability. We are close now like a weird combination of two unlikely flavours that you avoid combining at first because the idea puts you off, but that no longer surprises you once they’ve been mixed together and tasted and enjoyed.

So now. We’re both here: you in love with someone who loves you even more than you love him, and me in love with someone who loves me for reasons I will never comprehend, and we still have each other when we’re dying or when we’re thriving. You ask me if you think you deserve to be happy. I say yes. You ask me if you made mistakes. I say yes. You ask me if I’m happy. I say yes. You ask me if when the world ends, can we hold hands in a tulip garden. I say yes.

“This never happened before.” by Julia on the 99


Monday April 11, 2016
11:39pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 99

You tell me you love me like a bazillion times a day and I say it back maybe once? Twice if I’m in a good mood. I wonder it it bothers you that I say I love pizza more than I say I love your lips or your hands or whatever nice shit you say to me. You don’t seem bothered. You seem normal. Not even phased. I assume because you must believe you’re hearing me return your sentiments every time you say them cause otherwise your heart would need mending. And I’m saying you seem fine so I imagine you feel great about needing to express yourself so much and being with a person who needs coffee before speaking to you and who wants to be left alone for the first 40 minutes after returning home. I used to think saying I love you meant meaning it. If you asked me now I’d say it had nothing to do with that.

“In terms of expenses” by Julia on her couch


Sunday April 10, 2016
11:44pm
5 minutes
from an email

Mia and I have plans on the weekend. She wants to go camping and I want to go where Mia goes. So we’re going camping. She says it will be really easy if we just pack a tent in my car and then sleep in cornfields or daisy patches or whatever the fuck she actually said. I said yes. I said, I love camping, and I’ve been camping many times, and I am not afraid of getting caught by police or bears or raccoons or snakes. Mia wears an anklet that drives me wild. It’s a gold infinity rope thing and I didn’t know I liked ankles, but fuck hers are nice. She asked me recently if we could squeeze one more person in the back. I heard myself say yes but my whole body was screaming no. My body was too late to the party. It was distracted by the smell of her ponytail.

“In an attempt to get around this problem” by Julia on the 99


Saturday March 12, 2016
5:24pm
5 minutes
Epigenetics2 Revolution
Nessa Carey


There’s a man staring at me from under a balaclava. I am scared but more than that- I am furious. I think if I show fear he wins. I am mad that he is winning. I am so mad that he is anything on this planet, but because I have to deal with this, I am angry that these stupid tactics are working on me. He is on my mind. At the front of it. I tell myself not to look up at him. I don’t want to meet the gaze of this ridiculous human being who’s growing harder in his pants at the thought of displacing me in my rightful position on this earth. I tell myself that if I don’t look at him, I will be the one in control. I am desperate for another human to get on this god forsaken bus so I can avoid eye contact with him or her as well so it doesn’t look like he’s getting to me, just seeming that I don’t look at anyone, that I don’t give a flying fuck about connection.

I am afraid.
And I hate him for that.

“a wacky one” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday, January 16, 2016
12:05pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 16 bus

I don’t know what he meant when he said “That’s what you do.”
Said like an insult instead of forgiveness. Said like punishment. Said like tar.
I said I was sorry for nagging him and he said, “That’s what you do.”
Bells. Sirens. Those words went off in my brain like a fourth of July massacre.
That tone.
Loud.
And clear.
But I don’t know what he meant, that I nag, that’s what I do? Like he’s come to know me as the type who won’t ever pick a battle, or back down from an opinion that not everyone shares?
Or that I am sorry a lot and so I apologize a lot, and maybe that’s the thing that I do.
Either way it did not feel like a compliment.
Or a way to mend the bridge that we had both taken a match to earlier.
I wanted to reach him when he felt far away.
My instinct was to cry so I made very sure not to.

“Rainfall warning” by Julia on her couch


Thursday November 12, 2015
10:31pm
5 minutes
from the weather network

Hasn’t stopped raining for weeks. Grant called last night to tell me he was sorry and wished he could have stopped by more. I told him not to worry, there were enough people coming by the house to make sure I was getting out of bed. He asked if Mary-Beth made he famous Parmigiana and I said yeah, for the third time. Hasn’t stopped raining since. When I found out, Grant was on his way over to drop off a pair of winter gloves for Owen so he was there when it all hit. He gave me a long hug and told me it was going to be okay. I didn’t let him leave me that night and he’s still acting strange about it. I don’t know why he feels bad, nothing matters anymore. I’m the one who has to live with it, and all I know is life is pretty short so nothing fucking matters. Hasn’t stopped raining for weeks.

“in response to” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday November 11, 2015
2:10pm
5 minutes
From Performing Site Specific Theatre Ed.
Anna Birch and Joanne Tompkins


Call my name, I say, hey, call it again, I turn I face you.
Hey.
You don’t want to stop for me?
Why you got something worth the time I’d be losing?
Maybe.
Oh yeah?
Yeah maybe I got somethin worth your while.
Mhm, do you?
I said maybe didn’t I?
Mhm, so when do you prove that then? Or are we just gonna sit here all day discussin it?
Shoot a smile, I say, Later then, nod your head, I move in close.
Hey.
What’s this?
You don’t like it when I get near your face?
I never said that.
But you agree, don’t you?
I don’t like anyone this close to me.
You don’t act like it.
I don’t need to.
Is that right?
Yeah.
You act all tough when someone threatens your comfort?
Gotta protect my space.
Yeah, and don’t you forget it.

“I met my first savant 52 years ago” By Julia on the A train


Saturday, August 1, 2015
3:30am
5 minutes
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com

I didn’t want to meet him. I wasn’t really in the position of meeting someone outside my own brain let alone someone outside my own comfort zone. I tried to be sweet but I came off as this precious little bitch with an agenda and a superiority complex. He was kind. He played me the song he wrote on his banjo and asked me if I thought if sounded genuine enough. I couldn’t lie to him so I told him it sounded like heaven and I wished he’d never stopped to ask me about something I was clearly already thinking about. I hate when people push their shit on you. I didn’t really know sweetness. What I knew was that he cared about my opinion and what I knew was that he didn’t actually need to hear what my true one was. That should have been enough of a warning sign but I stuck around anyway. I waited till he sent me a photo of him wearing army pants to call it off.

“She expected me to be in jeans” By Julia in Brooklyn


Friday, July 31, 2015
2:17am
5 minutes
from Sasha’s transcriptions

As if to say I had already fucked everything up for everyone, she looked straight down her nose at me and slightly shook her head. Not a full shake. Just enough to really shame me and make me wish I hadn’t needed to even come. Stevie was on the other side of the lounge and she was sending over her best “Sorry, Delia” eyes. I think at one point she mimed tightening a noose around her neck out of solidarity but even she knew she had no idea what hell I was in. Stevie happened to meet one of the suitors who liked her care-free, dress-code breaking, entirely beautiful, but way too young looking face and had told the monitor that Stevie was free to remain as she was. I on the other hand didn’t get so lucky.

“grabbed by the notion” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday, July 21, 2015
12:10pm
5 minutes
From a letter to a celebrity

I love the expansive sky across the back
Shoulder to shoulder
I love the gentle down coat
The hand that fits on waist and hip and bum cheek
Men though
Man though
A man can’t be a sister like a woman
Obvious
Perhaps
But sometimes I forget
When I look across the table and see a gaze that doesn’t understand
Humans are humans
Gender is
I don’t know
I reach out my finger and you touch it with yours
This is our understanding
A quiet moment
Your back to me
Expansive sky
My eyes searching for clouds
In bed
Your chest is my pillow
Legs and arms intwined
Enough

“Reducing your taxes” by Julia on her patio


Monday May 18,2015
10:19pm
5 minutes
http://www.finance.ubc.ca

I met a woman and she was obsessed with money and she gave me her card and it took me a while to realize it but the reason was cause she was an accountant and it dawned on me a couple days later but now it makes sense cause when a woman talks about money that much and with that much authority she must be some professional when it comes to sorting all that stuff out–you know the numbers and the what have yous. I think she was trying to sell me her business cause of the card cause she could hear that I wasn’t too good with all those numbers and terms and she musta thought I was a big dumb man not knowing how to take care of all those financial issues and the like. It got me to thinking of my ex-wife Rosie cause she didn’t know a thing about money and she used to tell me it wasn’t her job to worry about bills and limits and payments and the what have yous and that’s why ours were always such a problem case I didn’t like them either. She used to say that women don’t know money just the way men don’t know gentleness and if we just teamed up then we’d never have to learn the other part cause that’s how God intended it when he looked down on the earth and matched up two people and decided how to make them into a family. This woman with the money she told me real nice that my eyes made her feel things she had never felt before and when she gave me her card and told me to call her I thought for a second maybe she wanted to love me.

“scoop up all the trash” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Thursday May 7, 2015 at Higher Grounds
3:29pm
5 minutes
from http://www.ecokids.ca

Don’t pick a girl who wants you to treat her like a princess. I did, and look where it got me. Broke, broken-hearted, broken set of toes… Damn. Still got my cowboy hat and still got my pride, though. No one can ever take those two away from me. Look, Sandro, I don’t wanna freak you out, but, like, you pick a girl who wants you to treat her like a princess and you’re never gonna be happy. I mean, I don’t think life is really about being happy, but it’s about being, like, peaceful or something. It’s only when you’re scooping up the trash of your life that you realize – you did everything for her and nothing for you. You’ve spent almost a decade sucking up to someone who wishes she were royalty. She’s not! If you’d just stuck to your guns and told her that when you first got together, “Honey, you’re from Campbell River, you’re never gonna be Cinderella, get over yourself…” maybe things would’ve worked out a little differently. I want the best for your Sandro, I don’t want what happened to me to happen to you… I mean, what am I supposed to do now? I’m forty two. I’m supposed to start over?

“And now I know he’s not my soulmate” by Sasha at UBC


Wednesday March 18, 2015
1:16pm
5 minutes
overheard at aroma espresso bar

Lying beside G., he smells like salami and body odour or maybe his body odour is salami-like
And now I know he’s not my soulmate
My soulmate’s sweat will smell like pinecones
Looking across the table at A., he chews like a rabbit (all front teeth) and it’s even stranger because we’re eating sushi
I down a half bottle of sake (come on, they’re small)
And now I know he’s not my soulmate
My soulmate will chew mostly with his molars
Flecks of rice will not escape when he leans in to tell me about the shower gel at his gym
Walking beside Z., he always keeps a half-step ahead of me, preferring that I always be in “catch-up” mode
And now I know he’s not my soulmate
My soulmate will walk with me, side-by-side, fingers grazing like blades of grass

I trust signs
It’s a sign
There’s a sign
And there, too

“I’ll try and take it off” by Sasha on the 99 heading East


Thursday January 29, 2015
6:36pm
5 minutes
overheard at Mina’s Fabric

M: I’ll try and take it off but I’m not making any promises.
W: How could you promise me that? Realistically…
M: Good point but, like, you know what I mean.
Pause.
W: Look, I never meant to let things get like this.
M: I know.
W: And I’m sorry for what I said about your beard…
M: It’s not a big deal –
W: I’m sorry though.
M: I appreciate that. I really do.
Pause.
W: It’s growing on me…
Pause. They laugh.
W: I didn’t even mean to say that.

“bless his heart” by Julia at Laura’s kitchen counter


Sunday January 4, 2015
2:44pm
5 minutes
http://www.mynewroots.com

Oh what a kindness I have known.
A man with a full heart is a gift, is a treasure. It bleeds generosity, it pumps only gentleness.
Oh what a kindness I have touched.
A man with a deep well is a blessing, is a joy. It fills understanding, it echoes only admiration.
Oh what a kindness I have felt.
A man with open arms is a fortune, is a delicacy. They embrace home, they caress only calming.

“32 million tonnes” by Julia on the tube


Saturday December 20, 2014
11:18am
5 minutes
from a pamphlet about the pipeline ”

-That’s what Lucinda said to me. I don’t know if it’s true, but apparently, men are attracted to shorter women.
-she’s a liar Sydney, she always lies. Probably said that to you just to make you feel bad
-you’re saying you don’t believe her?
-that girl is made up of 32 million tones of fake, that’s what I’m saying.
-but what if she’s right? About men? And they’ll never be attracted to me?
-it’s rubbish. It doesn’t make any sense so if you want to believe nonsense that’s up to you.
-what are you doing for Christmas then?
-wake up at mum’s, home breakfast, then spend the day with her, then dinner and sleep over at yours
-is daisy coming?
-who is daisy?
-the girl with the glitter hair
-oh right, her real name is Holly. I call her Holly anyway.
-do you want a bindi?
-yeah
-I have to remember if I brought one for you or not. I think I did. Yeah, here, I knew I did.

“It was probably so hard not to slap him” by Julia in Lozzola


Monday December 1, 2014
12:45am
5 minutes
A text from Katerina

Turned around with a fire in my face and I knew that if I did not leave in that exact moment I would be facing criminal charges for the rest of my life. I get like that sometimes. Blinded by rage. Can’t see straight. Impulse impulse impulse. It’s like a movie I’ve already seen is playing in the background of my mind, distracting the rest of my brain from figuring out what I’m about to do. It’s fuzzy, there are a lot of colours, but the moment right in front of me is clear. I’m not sure when it started. I was told to focus on my breathing by more than one person. My sister tries to send me links on how to deal with anger, how to channel my inner black cloud, how not to kill a man who has accidentally brushed up against me at the supermarket while rifling through vine tomatoes.

“a very small quantity of mud” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday December 2, 2014
8:06pm
5 minutes
Cartapaglia notebook

We’re sittin’ there, at the bar and she’s crunchin’ peanuts an’ makin’ a stack of the shells an’ I been keepin’ my distance but like… So, I turn to her an’ I say, “Nice haircut.” An’ she turns real slow an’ says, “I didn’t get any haircut.” An’ I feel like an idiot, right, like, I coulda sworn something was different about her. She’s drinkin’ that Okanagan Springs, right, so I say to the bartender, “Give ‘er another,” an’ she says, “No,” No?! I’m tryin’ ta buy a beautiful woman a drink! She hops off ‘er stool an’ she says, “You know what, dipshit? I can buy my own drinks! Yeah! I have a J-O-B. I probably make more money than you do! What do you think’s gonna happen, you’re gonna buy me a drink and I’m gonna fall for you? Or give you a pity handjob or somethin’? No fuckin’ thanks!” An’ she goes over to the shuffleboard an’ starts saltin’ the table. My, my, my hands are shakin’, you know what I mean? Thank Christ Tom was takin’ a leak ‘cuz he woulda laughed his ass off…

“It was probably so hard not to slap him” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Monday December 1, 2014 at Higher Grounds
5:04pm
5 minutes
A text from Katerina

It was probably so hard not to slap him when he turned to you and said, “I’m in love with her. What do you want?” It’s not even a question. Rhetorical or otherwise or whatever. It’s not even a question. If you knew what you wanted you wouldn’t be here, popping peanuts like happy-pills and trying to unbraid and re-braid your brain. Your fingers are cramping like the history teacher you had in eleventh grade who’d had to retire in his forties because he couldn’t grip chalk anymore his hands were so arthritic. You watched him watch her, all bounce, all vapid face, all out and in and out again. He approaches her and she shrugs him off like a spaghetti noodle and he takes his seat again, at the bar, beside you, and he curses you for finishing the peanuts.

“Pumpkins are awesome,” by Sasha on her couch


Friday October 31, 2014
6:52pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

I was dancing. I was doing my own thing. My friends were somewhere else and I was owning the dance floor. Solo. A guy came up behind me and pulled my hips to his groin. I turned around and said, “No thank you!” and danced away. A guy came up behind me and pulled my hips to his groin. I turned around and said, “Please fuck off!” A different face. Same hands. Same aggression. I left the dance floor and on the way to the bathroom I felt a sob choke in my throat. I wasn’t entirely sure why but I knew it had something to do with me feeling like I couldn’t just dance, alone, without being grabbed. Outside the bathroom door and guy said to me, “You’re fucking hot. How many drinks would I need to buy you to suck my dick?” I burst into tears. Right there. Big ones, not little, sweet, cute ones. He made a few grunts and walked away. I went into a bathroom stall, sat on the floor, and kept crying. A woman in the stall beside me, “Are you okay? You’re probably just too drunk, babe!” I wasn’t. I wasn’t drunk at all.

“MADE IN ITALY” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday October 25, 2014
7:12pm
5 minutes
The back of a room spray

It’s late. The rain’s stopped but the moon’s to blame now. For this insatiable urge to eat gelato. I pull on shorts and a tank top. I’ve been naked because it’s so hot. There’s a gelato place three blocks from the room I’m renting. I see him and I recognize him but I’m not wearing a bra so I keep walking. “Hey!” He calls. I stop. I don’t want to be rude. Fucking Canadian. I stop. He runs towards me. I don’t know him well enough for him to run. My best friend didn’t even run towards me when I got home from China and she hadn’t seen me in two years. He smiles. “You look like you just woke up,” he says and I didn’t just wake up but I’m disheveled. I’m not wearing a bra. “Where’re you going?” His eyes dart to my nipples, then to my lips, then to my eyes. Too slow. “Home,” I say. “I’ll walk you,” he says. My mind races with options – how can I avoid him but get to the gelato but avoid him? “No thank you.” I say. “It’s not safe for you to walk alone right now… You know how it goes with the men here…” “I’m fine.” I say. His face eclipses. His face changes. He looks angry. He starts to say something and then stops. “I’ll see you around,” he says. I wait. I catch my breath. I close my eyes and I think about my first real boyfriend, who took my virginity, who cried when we had sex because he was so scared of hurting me. Where are you, Steve Levine? Where are you now?

“Now get your ass over here!!!” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday October 18, 2014
12:18pm
5 minutes
Advanced Italian Grammar
Marcel Danesi


“Alan! Get your ass over here!!!” Bernie has one of those voices you hope you’ll never have to hear at seven ten in the God damn morning. “Do you have to shriek like that? It’s early…” I want to kick Leonard. Bernie takes a long pause and then rises from his desk. “What did you just say to me?” “I just, ah…” Leonard shrinks into his sweater vest like a fucking turtle. “I’ll talk however I want, Leonard, because guess what?! I’M THE FUCKING BOSS HERE! I’M THE BOSS! So, shut up, drink your orange juice and get to WORK!” Poor Lisbeth is plugging her ears. I think there’s a tear forming in her eye… If she cries, I might. It’s that bad. Alan’s made his way to Bernie’s desk and he’s waiting, shaking. Poor guy’s wife just gave birth to a stillborn. He does not look good. I try to catch his eye to wink at him or something, but his gaze is fixed on the floor.

“I begin to understand” by Julia at her kitchen table


Tuesday August 19, 2014
11:57pm
5 minutes
You Got It
Roy Orbison


Has anyone ever told you that you look like a young John Travolta? It’s a compliment, really. I mean, hey, it’s John Fucking Travolta. Who wouldn’t want to look like him? It’s true, he’s no Tom Cruise. Oh my God, have you seen Eyes Wide Shut? He’s a fucking dreamboat in that one, right? Oh my god, like a perfect little angel man. He’s got a nice casual condescension that he plays so easily, so effortlessly. I hate to admit I was attracted to him during the whole film, even when he’s acting questionably. Oh my good fucking god, it’s not a spoiler, who doesn’t act questionably in a movie? It’s a movie! But you! You’re a John. A good one, a good good one. And it’s probably, well mostly, because of that cute little chin of yours. You can just tell that you’re good cause of that. It looks like you have an extra space to fit the love in! That’s what my great grandmother always used to say. Well not always, I mean, I only knew her for like a year before she died and in that time I think we ever only talked about bum chins that once.

“The healthiest things” by Sasha at Black River Farm


Friday July 25, 2014
9:43am
5 minutes
Food Rules
Michael Pollan


Next thing I know he’s baking me effing chocolate chip cookies! And he’s putting molasses in them. And brown butter. Like. Shut the front door, right? I know. I was losing my effing mind, Kel. Losing it. And these cookies? Better than your Mom’s. Better than those old Toll House kind. The best goddamn cookies I’m ever effing eaten. They are not the healthiest things… A whole cup of butter in there, a cup and a half of sugar. Holy shizama, but… Like, who even cares, you know? When something tastes that good? How am I supposed to leave this one? I practically proposed on the spot! I think he’s the one. Seriously. He has every Norah Jones album? Even her new one! I didn’t even know she had a new one!

“I said karate and she thought I said karaoke” by Julia on her bed


Monday June 9, 2014
1:12am
5 minutes
overheard on Bloor St.

This broad, I mean, get your hearing checked, you knowwhati’msaying? She had one finger in her ear and one finger god knows where. It was like she was trying to fuck with me. And I’m there all easy breezy, you know? Cause I’m trying so hard to let her know she’s not getting to me, but we’re on this date, youknowwhati’msaying? It was one of those match.com dates or what have you because I was having a hard time out in the real world, you get me? Ha! That’s a joke! She was my cousin Jodi’s boss’ sister in law’s friend. I wouldn’t do those dating sites if they were the last option on this planet, youknowwhati’msaying? Anyways, I’m telling her some stories about my childhood and the classes I used to take, and for a brief sting there, I was taking dance classes and also karate which is why I mention the dancing cause the karate, you know, it cancels it out. And this broad! She thinks I said Karaoke! Who takes a friggen karaoke class, youknowhati’msaying?

“What bugs you?” by Julia at her desk


Sunday June 1, 2014
11:08am
5 minutes
A List of Questions to inspire scenes

1.Waking up after wearing tight bottoms and seeing belly fat first thing in the morning
2.Dirty fingernails
3.People who hate other people for no reason
4.Guys holding a woman’s purse just so she doesn’t have to
5.Girls who ask guys to hold their purses so they don’t have to
6.Food getting thrown away before everyone is offered some
7.Batteries. (honestly, WHERE are they supposed to go when they’re dead?)
8.Ingrown hairs that leave scars
9.Having to use my keys to get into my house
10.Going to sleep without yawning the right amount
11.People who don’t drink enough water and then complain about always having head aches
12.When people don’t move out of the way on the sidewalk for people trying to actually use it

“she wasn’t even funny” by Julia on her couch


Saturday May 31, 2014
1:49am
5 minutes
overheard on queen st west

So I met Brendan’s new girlfriend on Saturday night, cause I accidentally got dragged out to a bar and had to put on high strappy shoes. Tamara said it would be good for me to get out of the house and stop telling myself I was being productive if all I was really doing was reading old e-mails that Brendan sent me while I was in Ottawa last fall. I told Tamara that they were beautiful expressions of love and youth and she didn’t have to understand. She didn’t understand or care to, so instead she kidnapped me with a tube of bright red lipstick and forced me to wear eye glitter. So we’re waiting at the bar and it’s as if I had a sixth sense that it was him, and I looked to the door and Brendan was walking in with a tiny little tanned girl on his arm. She was wearing a ball-cap and had big hoop earrings. She was pretty. She was smaller than me. I adjusted my skirt and told Tamara that I had to leave. No, she told me, I’d have to stay cause I was here first, it was my home field. Then of course, me trying to avoid him for the first 20 minutes made it more awkward when he actually came up to me with his tiny new arm piece in tow. The first thing I said was, I hate this bar! It’s filled with insecurities and perfume designed by washed-up celebrities. Brendan laughed but his little toy didn’t. I was relieved that at least she wasn’t funny too.

“Make a lasting impression.” by Julia at the CSI Coffee Pub


Friday May 30, 2014 at The CSI Coffee Pub
4:40pm
5 minutes
L’OREAL ad in Flare Magazine
December 2011


Cool fingertips on my eyelids and that’s how we met
He said, you will change the world with your words
I said, tell me that again and again and again
He said, write me something beautiful–write me something that looks like you
And I died
And I died
And I died
He rocked his head from side to side to a rhythm I couldn’t hear
I said, what song is in your brain right now
And he said, the one you sang to me in your sleep last night
I said, the one about the moon?
And he said, you always sing about the moon.
Cool fingertips on my eyelids and that’s how we fell in love
He said, when you think that you can’t, remember this feeling, this calming
I said, will you come with me forever?
He said, I’ll try. I’ll try to stop time too if you need
And I died
And I died
And I died

“was just perfect” by Julia at her kitchen table


Thursday May 29, 2014
10:18pm
5 minutes
shutterbean.com

baby bruised me yesterday on my right arm. i said baby, it’s okay, it’s not your fault.
i said, don’t worry baby, it doesn’t hurt. baby didn’t mean to bruise me. i wanted baby to squeeze my arm as hard as possible because i couldn’t feel it in that moment. i wasn’t sure if it was still mine. i didn’t know if it had any blood left in it to keep it alive. baby squeezed and said, tell me when it’s too much. and i said, i will, i will. baby squeezed and i closed my eyes and felt connected to my body again. baby watched my expression and kept squeezing. i just breathed and breathed as if for the first time. i said, harder, or a little harder, and baby didn’t stop. baby pressed harder, my blood barreling down my veins again like the first day of spring. barreling down into my hand, my fingertips, flooding my limb with life and revitalized juices to keep me going. baby looked down and saw there was a mark. baby said, did i hurt you, tell me. and i said, you could never hurt me. you made me better. you always make me better. that was the feeling i had. like everything was perfect.

“A passionate hot blooded woman” by Julia at her kitchen table


Monday May 26, 2014
12:29am
5 minutes
from the ‘Julia’ candle

Then he looked at me and said, damn woman, that was the hottest kiss. I’ve never been kissed that passionately before. And I was like, well I was drunk so what do you want me to say? And he said, say you meant it, say you needed it. I was about to punch him in his face when he came up to mine and kissed me again. I didn’t even pull away. When we were done, he said, are you drunk now? And I said, no, and he said, so there we go. And I said, there we go? And he said, yeah, see? That was sober passion. I said, that shit doesn’t exist, and he said, yeah it does; I just proved it to you. You like me.
Then the world went dark and my eyes got fuzzy and I said, no these are all lies you tell yourself but now you’ve included me in the conversation too. He said, you’re seriously disputing that we just made passion out of thin air just a second ago? And I said, well yeah, passion comes from the soul, not from the lips. And then the world got light again and I could breathe and I could breathe enough that I started to walk away. He said, where are you going? And I said, I have something to do. And he said, more than being here right now with me in the middle of this moment? And then I couldn’t say anything at all that would encompass my disdain for him in “this moment” so I just scoffed and rolled my eyes all the way back into my head. He said, seriously? And I said, What? It’s a kiss. It’s how I kiss. I’m a good kisser, what more can I tell you, Christ.

“STAY THOUGHTFUL” by Julia at the Holiday Inn in Charleston


Tuesday April 29, 2014
7:45pm
5 minutes
The Holiday Inn note pad/em>

According to Dale, women shouldn’t have to pay for their own meals. Carmella agreed with this notion because she worked as an underpaid nanny and couldn’t avoid the trap of wanting and needing free things.
Dale and Carmella met at the carnival two summers ago when Carmella was struggling to find enough coins to pay for her burrito-dog and Dale had watched with a glint in his eye from a distance. He waited till it was the right moment and came up, placed 2 dollars on the Carny’s counter and began to walk off.
Obviously Carmella had chased after him, wanting to thank him for his heroic act, and Dale knew exactly how it would go.
Hi.
Hey.
Thank you for..you know, you didn’t have to do that..
I know.
(turns back to keep walking)
Wait. That was..
It’s okay.
No, that was nice. Nobody’s ever..done anything like that–
It’s totally fine, really.
For me before. So.
So.
Can I buy you a drink?
I don’t know can you?
(embarrassed laugh, shy eyes)
I could in a couple weeks?
So let’s do it then.
What?
Drinks.
In a couple weeks?
Yeah, why not.
I’ll take you up on that, you know.
I hope you do.
(turns back to walk away)
Sucker.
(turning back)
What was that.
I said I can’t believe I got so lucky…

“I start anywhere and finish somewhere else.” By Sasha at Balluchon


Thursday January 30, 2014 at Balluchon
11:45am
5 minutes
Kitchen Ghost
Teetle Clawson


He starts anywhere and finish somewhere else. That’s pretty much the only method to it. And he doesn’t sleep past nine twenty. Anyone that sleeps past nine twenty is labelled “lazy”. When he chooses his canvases he looks for the ones with flaws, he chooses those ones. The same with women. If they appear angelic, likelihood is they’re hiding something. When he stands before the large square of white, he closes his eyes and pictures the Rocky Mountains, their majesty, and it helps him take himself less seriously. Sometimes he starts in the middle. Sometimes he finishes there. The same with sex. The same with eating a pomegranate.

“MOD, MINI, METALLIC” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Friday January 3, 2014 at Sambuca Grill
2:55pm
5 minutes
vintage shop on College

I haven’t seen her face yet. Just her skirts, and like, her hair from the back. I know I like that side of her a lot. Weird, like, I start imagining her face but there’s nothing specific about her features. You know, I just can’t seem to see those things, and yet, I know exactly what she looks like. Maybe cause I don’t want to wreck her. Or my expectations. Okay and I know that about myself. I can get my hopes up pretty high for practically anything and this is no different. But I don’t want her to fall short of my expectations without her even doing anything wrong. Not that she can. I mean, the girl is beautiful. I’m telling you, her legs. And that’s even when she’s wearing pants. It sounds so dumb to say it out loud, but I think this is how everyone should get to know the love of their life. Like, I’m not stupid and I know I don’t love her yet. Just I also know I could. And easily. I don’t know what she looks like. But that moment when I finally see her face…that first moment…it will be like that moment on Drop Zone where your heart shoots through your body and everything just…drops. That release, the difficulty to catch my breath…Yeah.

“become the master” by Julia on her couch


Friday December 20, 2013
1:22am
5 minutes
from the Curl Keeper bottle

I suppose he had a right to tell me that. I wasn’t expecting to hear it so blatantly put, but at least he wasn’t tippy toeing around me. That’s what I said! Tippy toeing. Yes that’s what I just said, tippy–oh. I hear it now. Tippy! Haha! Just one of those days, huh Judy? Anyway I’m not mad. No, at him. I’m not mad at him for being frank with me. What do you mean who else would he be? Are you serious, Jude? And you’re on my case for tippy toeing? Anyway, doesn’t matter. My point is he sort of charmed me by not letting me get away with anything. I appreciate a man who a) can spot bullshit, and b) who won’t stand for it. I’m telling you, Judy, he doesn’t stand for it even a little!

“principle monetary unit of Morocco” by Sasha on the Bathurst streetcar


Monday, October 14, 2013
3:32pm
5 minutes
The Pocket Oxford Dictionary

I arrived wide-eyed
At night
Asking the taxi driver if he knew the town
Knew the people
Knew the ocean
He nodded to all my questions
Which did not reassure me
I arrived wide-eyed
At night
And she met me
My friend
Curls bouncing sweet surf
Smile telling secrets
Eyes twinkling her love for her man
Born in this place
In the dips of Paradise Valley
I woke up the next morning
Hung over with jet lag
And I heard the prayers
Of the men
I heard the voices of the people
Singing to God
And
I thought
“Imagine if we prayed together in the West?”

“a woman’s body” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday October 16, 2013
12:09am
5 minutes
Alive Magazine
October 2013


i didn’t want to ask you
what you thought about my body
i didn’t want to know if
you preferred red heads to blondes to brunettes to whatever it is that i have
i didn’t want to ask any questions
none at all
none that would lead me to want you more
or hate you more because i want you more
i didn’t secretly need to hear
anything from your mouth
that indicated you thought i was beautiful
even if it was only a little bit
even if it was only sometimes
i’d rather stay out all night trying
to catch butterflies
in the perfect moment where
they realize they can fly
i didn’t want yo ask you
i didn’t want to know
what you thought needed improvement
or judgement
or more make up, just around the eyes, though
it seems i would be unhappy with
any one of the possible
outcomes
the ones where i melt in front of you
the ones where i desperately search
for a blanket to cover myself up
the ones where i forget to breathe
in case you’re watching my stomach
or my chest
or my mouth

“CREATIVE SOULS” by Julia on her couch


Friday, August 23, 2013
12:31am
5 minutes
From the Arts Market business card

It said on the sign that it was umm…a gathering of sorts. You see, the bold type face was really eye catching and. Well. I was intrigued. I’ve never been one of those cats killed by curiosity or whatever the phrase is- umm. It was just one of those days. I went there, I saw the thing, the, the sign. And it made me feel welcome… It..welcomed me. With it’s intriguing wording. And then that’s where I found myself. Just sort of there. Stuck, I guess. But, I should say, that, at the time I didn’t feel anything out of the ordinary. I felt right at home, umm, I felt good. The man running the…the whole event, umm, was beautiful. He was wearing linen pants which I didn’t even have a problem with, and uh, that’s rare for me. I tend to be really critical about wardrobe choices. In a man. So. I was cognizant that…He wasn’t like other men at all.

“just horrible” by Julia on her front porch


Friday , August 16, 2013
5:09pm
5 minutes
overheard at the metro

She was sitting with her legs up, just barely touching the table. She was trying to make a point about how she didn’t need to be big to feel at ease with the big guys. A lot of them were busy rolling their own tobacco and laughing about Sweeny who allegedly turned in early because he thought he had “food poisoning”. She was hoping they wouldn’t make such a big deal about her being there, knowing full well she’d have to fight even harder just to break free of their expectations. She was waiting for her turn with the tobacco. Her father used to roll so she knew what she was doing. She was just waiting for her chance to show them she was more than just a well dressed and manicured woman. They didn’t say anything, but she knew they were thinking it. She could see it in their eyes every time they spent a little too long looking at her skirt, and her shoes.

“Variations may also occur” by Sasha at The Holy Oak from McDonald’s Ingredient Facts


Friday August 2, 2013
3:54pm
5 minutes
McDonald’s Ingredient Facts

That intimate moment when one stranger, a man, tall and tanned, in a white turban and a red Tommy T-shirt, lights the cigarette of another, a man, short, with a leather page-boy cap and a denim knapsack, Ray Bans and a sleeve of rainbow coloured tattoos. One man leans into the other in this shared moment of physical intimacy, brought together by need, by fire – ancient aspects of humanity. Driftwood meets on the shore of the lake, one side rubbing another, smoothing like sandpaper. For a hundred days, the water-logged pieces come to know one another with a quiet calm, with the sunrises and the loon calls, these stubborn bits of birch and pine, find sameness, find common ground, find connection. Skin to skin. One man’s finger brushes the others’. Turban cups Leather, makes sure the wind can’t work her wiles. The cigarette burns. And the moment is over before it’s even started. “Got a light?”

8. Open your closet.” by Julia on her couch


Monday February 11, 2013
11:31pm
5 minutes
The Artist’s Way
Julia Cameron


He was staring into my hairline as opposed to into my eyes. I think he was scared because one is green and the other is yellow like the sun. If he didn’t know how to handle it, I don’t blame him. I still don’t know how to handle it. I keep thinking my left side is possessed by the devil. When I see myself in the mirror I get a little worked up. Anyway he was avoiding my eyes. He was trying to invite me to his event. He was being awarded for something, thought it’d be nice if I could go with him. But I stopped listening and started counting out my outfits. 7. Black dress gold trim makes me look sexy. 8. Black dress black trim makes me look generic. 9, black dress no trim makes me look? Did he even say this was black tie optional? If it’s optional I’ll be wearing jeans. Maybe I’ll ask my hairline. She’ll know better than me.